Thornberry Advocates for U.S. Energy Independence

Press Release

Date: June 26, 2014
Location: Washington, DC

Calling it a win for American energy, Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) joined his House colleagues this week to pass three bills that expand U.S. energy production, create more jobs, and cut costs.

"Energy is one of the real bright spots in our economy, no thanks to Washington," said Rep. Mac Thornberry. "Increasing energy production also has very real strategic consequences that benefit us in this turbulent time for our nation's security."

Continued energy growth has significant economic impact both nationally and locally. Innovative technology and drilling developments, such as hydraulic fracturing, have increased domestic energy production across the country -- particularly in Texas. In fact, Texas is the nation's leader in crude oil and natural gas production, accounting for approximately 1.9 million jobs.

"Just yesterday, we saw the GDP drop by 2.9%, the sharpest pullback since the 2009 recession. News like this makes the energy boom even more important for America," said Thornberry. "It's time to play to our strengths -- invest in energy -- to reverse this economic downward spiral and get more Americans back to work. We have the tools; we just have to use them."

H.R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, modernizes the cross-border approval process for oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines, and electric transmission lines between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The bill replaces the Presidential permit requirement with a standardized approval process so long-term, cross-border projects like the Keystone Pipeline have a chance to succeed and create new jobs across the country.

H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, expedites exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) to our allies. As the world's top natural gas producer, America has the ability to supplant the influence of volatile countries like Russia and Iran who currently dominate the energy market. Exports would both help our allies and create thousands of American jobs. Studies estimate that for Texas alone, LNG exports would add 155,713 jobs and $31.4 billion in income over the next ten years. As the Vice Chairman of the Armed Services Committee and an advocate for LNG exports, Thornberry is a co-sponsor of this bill.

H.R. 4899, Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act of 2014, requires the Administration to move forward with offshore energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources. Since President Obama took office, total federal offshore oil production decreased by 13 percent and natural gas production decreased by 47 percent. Offshore oil and gas give America the resources needed to decrease dependence on foreign oil, lower gas prices, and create more American jobs.

In addition to these bills, Thornberry introduced his own bill to increase all-of-the-above domestic energy production. The legislation, H.R. 2081, called the "No More Excuses Energy Act," would encourage construction of new refineries; increase onshore and offshore drilling; and invest in nuclear power plants. The bill also opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to responsible drilling that produces nearly a million barrels per day. More refineries and drilling areas assure a consistent energy supply for consumers and drives gas prices down. Thornberry also introduced H.R. 2202, the "LNG Excise Tax Equalization Act," to equalize the tax on LNG and diesel fuel in order to lower the cost and advance the use of natural gas.

Last month, Thornberry visited an LNG filling station and a wind energy plant in Amarillo to see domestic energy first-hand from a variety of sources.

Along with today's action to halt the Administration's current restrictions on energy production, Thornberry has consistently combatted excessive federal regulations on multiple fronts. Most recently, he spoke out against the President's proposed EPA regulations on carbon-dioxide emission, which would increase costs for American businesses and consumers alike. He also created legislation to protect landowners from the EPA's regulatory overreach by redefining the term "navigable waters" in the Clean Water Act. Thornberry also advocated against the inclusion of the Lesser Prairie Chicken as an Endangered Species to further prevent restrictions on farmers.